Eyewear focuses electronically

March 30, 2011

A line of electronically focusing prescription eyewear (emPower!, PixelOptics) formally was introduced at Vision Expo East in New York City.

New York City-A line of electronically focusing prescription eyewear (emPower!, PixelOptics) formally was introduced at Vision Expo East in New York City.

“With the ability to substantially reduce or eliminate the perceived distortion and other limitations associated with traditional progressive lenses, [the line] places control of . . . vision back in the hands of the consumer,” said Ron Blum, president and chief executive officer of PixelOptics, headquartered in Roanoke, VA.  

The eyeglasses will be available in the southeastern United States beginning in May. The line will be rolled out across the country by the end of the year.

Panasonic Healthcare Co. Ltd. will manufacture the electronic lens blanks. Aspex Eyewear will produce the electronic frames, which will be available in 12 styles, including multiple color options, for a total of 36 different electronic frames.

The electronic corrective eyeglasses have composite lenses with a thin, transparent, liquid crystal layer; microchips; micro-machine accelerometers; and miniature rechargeable batteries. They are designed to have the same weight, feel, and look of regular high-fashion eyewear.

The liquid crystal layer in each lens is able to electronically change and activate the near focus lens only when needed, with no moving parts and without making a sound, according to the company. The microchip, micro-accelerometers, and miniature batteries are hidden inside the temples of the eyeglass frames.

The lenses allows for seeing clearly at all distances: far, near, and intermediate. Wearers can operate the glasses in three different modes: manual on, automatic, and manual off. The glasses are shock-resistant and waterproof. One charge of the battery allows for 2 to 3 days of operation.